§ Mr. P. Howard
wished to ask the noble Lord (the Secretary for Foreign Affairs) when the Portuguese commission for the settlement of British claims upon that country would be opened for the reception of claims.
§ Viscount Palmerston
replied, that the commissioners had met, and, before proceeding to decide the various claims, had very properly determined they would decide on the principles which should govern them. The first point which arose was to decide which of the various contracts were binding. The commissioners differed on this point, and had to refer the arbitrator who had not yet pronounced his decision. The commissioners thought that they could not proceed with satisfaction until they determined on what principles the claims should be decided.